We are potty training around here right now.
So, that means life basically sucks.
I spend inordinate amounts of time in the bathroom, talk about excrement constantly, and am once again enjoy the deadly art of removing underwear filled with poop.
We are a week in and far from declaring success.
This is only my second time on the potty training journey.
So I’m not going to pretend to be an expert.
I am at best a fledgling novice.
However, there are 3 Universal Truths I Have Learned while Potty Training that applies to the entire parenting experience.
Well I guess, they apply to my oftentimes ridiculous parenting experience.
1. I Have No Standards
I used to have standards–ideals and limits. No more.
Now I think it’s perfectly acceptable to discuss the details of bowel movements over dinner.
I have come to terms with the faint but constant hint of poop smell on my hands, no matter how many times I wash.
Have changed kids on dirty gas station bathroom floors while my baby scoots around on the same floor eating stray pieces of toilet paper.
I have held children soaked with pee close to me, feeling the warm liquid soak through my own clothing.
Have woken up in a puddle of pee and in my sleepy daze simply stripped the pants off the offending child and threw down a couple of towels and scooted to a different section of the bed before drifting back off to sleep.
I have taken pictures of poop–in potties and other less successful locations–and texted them to my husband.
Have sent one child into a play area to clean up the poop of their sibling (with disappointing results).
I bribed with candy, ponies, trips, movies, and gifts.
Begged and pleaded.
I haven’t been alone in the bathroom for years–and have come to use those moments for teaching…
Ugh. I’m that mother. I have seriously no standards.
2. I am Powerless
And herein is the ultimate horror of potty training–you are not only at the mercy of a 2-year-old–you are at the mercy of their bowels.
All the plans and tricks and incentives are all crap until that little one agrees to sit on that little potty and actually take care of business–and I am utterly powerless in making that happen.
Despite all of the things I try, despite all of the stories I read her while she sits on the potty, despite all of the potty songs we sing or pretty underwear we buy, the ultimate success of this project is out of my hands.
And that is so frustrating!
All I can do is pick up another pack of underwear because I doubt that 6 will get us through the day.
3. We Will Live Through This.
I guess this is true, that we will survive.
That we will come out on the other end of all of this–and that the likelihood of still diapering my daughter into her teenage years is actually pretty remote.
All of the research and statistics point to the fact that my daughter will be potty trained, at some point.
It’s just so hard to believe when I am carrying around wet underwear in my purse at Lowe’s while my daughter runs wild through the isles, commando under her dress.
And it’s even harder to believe when at the public swimming pool and she proudly declares “Turd Here!” pointing at the rear of her bathing suit.
But we will live through this, and I, at least, will live to potty train other babies.
Lord help me.